How did Leicester City’s shocking win affect their main sponsor?
It’s a fact: quality sports results have a direct positive effect on the social engagement of teams and athletes. As a corollary, exposure received by their sponsors and partners benefits from this positive growth.
Never was this more clear than with Leicester City’s amazing Premier League season. Their on-pitch success brought skyrocketing engagement for their their primary sponsor, King Power, with each step toward hoisting the Premier League trophy at King Power Stadium.
As the 2015-2016 season began, Leicester City had approximately 56,000 Instagram followers; they now boast in excess of 770,000. On May 3rd, the day after these 5,000-1 underdogs won the Premier League trophy for the first time ever, they added 147,000 Instagram followers in just 24 hours.
Not surprisingly, similar jumps are seen across the rest of their social handles. For example, they started the season with 208,000 Twitter followers and now they have over 725,000.
How did this spike in social growth impact social engagement? In September 2015 the Foxes’ social posts had approximately 600,000 engagements; by April 2016 they drove 6.6 million, and this May they’ve already received over 13 million engagements (as of May 19).
And how did this engagement impact earned media for King Power? As you can imagine, Leicester’s shocking season has greatly increased the visibility of the Thai travel retail company, especially on social media.
Through matchday 16, Leicester City drove King Power social exposure valued in €9,000 / £6,900 / $10,000 (no, these are not missing any zeros).
From matchday 17 (when they beat Everton 3-2 to sit atop the table for the Christmas holiday) through the final matchday of the season, the earned media Leicester drove for King Power was worth €566,000 / £433,000 / $634,000 (~63x!). You can see that evolution in the following graph:
Leicester wasn’t the only entity driving value for King Power. Players, leagues, media companies and even other teams saw a similar spike: from €90,000 / £69,000 / $100,800 through matchday 16 to €1,662,000 / £1,272,000 / $1,862,000 from matchday 17 through 38 (~18x).
The Premier League social channels actually drove most engagements for King Power, surpassing even Leicester’s own. Throughout the entire season, Premier League social posts drove King Power exposure valued in €871,000 / £666,600 / $975,800, while content posted by Leicester City was €575,000 / £440,000 / $644,200.
In case you are curious, this is the social post by Leicester City that got the most engagement for King Power (54,000 engagements, that is, around €36,000 / £27,900 / $40,500). It was posted on Twitter on the 2nd of May, right after they won the Premier League trophy:
Interestingly, this post starring Leicester’s star forward could have driven another €67,400/ £52,100 / $75,750, but Jamie’s Player of the Season trophy unfortunately covered King Power’s logo, instead getting exposure for Puma and Barclay’s. Not entirely surprising given this post came from the Premier League themselves, who are more interested in Barclay’s positioning.
Neither fans nor bookmakers could foresee Leicester City’s Premier League victory, and we can safely assume that no one at King Power could imagine their brand would get this kind of social visibility this season. This is a great case study in the importance of including social channels when negotiating sponsorship deals and, of course, the necessity of tracking and valuing the social web in an accurate, convenient and fast way.
About Blinkfire Analytics: Blinkfire Analytics uses computer vision to measure media value and impact – allowing Rights Holders, Players, Agents, and Brands to better engage their fans and sponsors. All of the stats provided above are, of course, from Blinkfire Analytics.